Volume 12(2), 2016-11, 252—288

Algorithmic reflections on choreography

Pablo Ventura
Ventura Dance Company
Switzerland

Daniel Bisig
Zurich University of the Arts
Switzerland

In 1996, Pablo Ventura turned his attention to the choreography software Life Forms to find out whether the then-revolutionary new tool could lead to new possibilities of expression in contemporary dance. During the next 2 decades, he devised choreographic techniques and custom software to create dance works that highlight the operational logic of computers, accompanied by computer-generated dance and media elements. This article provides a firsthand account of how Ventura’s engagement with algorithmic concepts guided and transformed his choreographic practice. The text describes the methods that were developed to create computer-aided dance choreographies. Furthermore, the text illustrates how choreography techniques can be applied to correlate formal and aesthetic aspects of movement, music, and video. Finally, the text emphasizes how Ventura’s interest in the wider conceptual context has led him to explore with choreographic means fundamental issues concerning the characteristics of humans and machines and their increasingly profound interdependencies.